• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Hennes

"Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan

28 posts in this topic

Trolling Amazon.com for new cookbooks that I desperately need I ran across an upcoming release from Dorie Greenspan that sounded like it might be interesting: Around My French Table is set for an October 8, 2010 release. From the publisher's description:

When Julia Child told Dorie Greenspan, “You write recipes just the way I do,” she paid her the ultimate compliment. Julia’s praise was echoed by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, which referred to Dorie’s “wonderfully encouraging voice” and “the sense of a real person who is there to help should you stumble.”

Now in a big, personal, and personable book, Dorie captures all the excitement of French home cooking, sharing disarmingly simple dishes she has gathered over years of living in France. Around My French Table includes many superb renditions of the great classics: a glorious cheese-domed onion soup, a spoon-tender beef daube, and the “top-secret” chocolate mousse recipe that every good Parisian cook knows—but won’t reveal.

Anyone know anything more? Of course I already own Wolfert's definitive "The Cooking of Southwest France" and I'm hoping that this will fit in nicely with that and Mastering the Art. I've had good luck with many of Greenspan's other recipes, but didn't realize she might be an authority on French cuisine.


NOTE: Now that our copies have started to arrive, we are posting about the recipes here!


Edited by Chris Hennes Added note at bottom (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen mention of this book, too, and would be interested in knowing more about the contents--mostly recipes? technique? Truth is, I have a dozen plus cookbooks that cover this territory and I'm reluctant to add others unless they tell me something new. But Dorie has co-authored books with the likes of Daniel Boulud and Pierre Herme, so I have no doubt that she has good recipes and secrets to share.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and apologies for not jumping into this conversation earlier. Here's a little background on the new book.

There are more than 300 recipes (about 60 are desserts) and they cover the range from little nibbles, Pierre Herme's olive sables, terrific salmon rillettes and gougeres (the duo are my favorites with drinks, to ‘real’ main courses, like beef daube, chicken-in-a-pot (on the book’s cover), lamb tagine with apricots and almonds, vegetable pot-au-feu, linguine with nuts and dried fruit, shrimp with cellophane noodles and Parisian gnocchi. In between, there are soups and salads (there’s a fabulous all-white salad made with mushrooms, celery, apples and a yogurt dressing) and vegetables and first courses of all kinds -- the Tuna-Mozzarella Pizza from Yves Camdeborde of Le Comptoir is great. In short, it’s a soup-to-nuts, as well as a meat and fish and pasta to cake cookbook with lots of stories and about 100 pictures.

The recipes come from my ‘other’ life, the one in France, so it’s the food that I cook at home in Paris and the food my friends cook -- most of it is what I think of as 'elbow-on-the-table food'. There are recipes from all over France, some from chefs at simple bistros, some from people at the markets I love, many from friends and lots and lots from my own kitchen.

The mix of recipes can only be called 'eclectic' -- the word is so overused, but it fits here. There are traditional recipes, for sure (I think the Cheese-Topped Onion Soup is fabulous), but there are lots and lots of modern and very surprising recipes, for example, a Basque tortilla (think frittata or omelet) made with potato chips (this from a Michelin-starred chef); my friend Gerard's Mustard Tart, made with tomatoes in summer and steamed carrots and leeks in winter; a burger with capers, cornichons and sun-dried tomatoes mixed with the beef (it's become my house burger in the States); pork braised with lemongrass and coconut milk; chicken roasted in a Dutch oven (with a piece of bread to serve as the 'plate' for the liver -- the cook's treat); and “cookies” that are rolled out like pie dough, baked in one raggedy-edged piece and then brought to the table that way, so that everyone can break off a hunk. (They're called Salted Butter Break-Ups, although when they were made at a preview lunch at Book Expo somebody called them Salt-Butter Crack!)

And there are the stories ... Stories about the market, about how people eat in France, about how to shop, how to serve cheese and even how to complain and get what you want.

Here's what the book isn't: It's not Escoffier. It's not Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It's not a by-the-rules book. It's not a textbook. It's too personal to be any of those things.

The book as my look at what people are cooking in France today. It's a very personal book, my editor thinks it's my most personal to date.

Thanks so much for being interested in my newest baby. Scream if there's more I can tell you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got an email with an updated release date of Sept 16, 2010

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My pre-order just shipped, so I guess the book is out early! Looking forward to seeing what's in there, thanks for the details, Dorie.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine shipped too. I am glad, because after reading Dorie's post it would've been really hard to wait. Olive sables! Tuna pizza! Mustard tart! This is going to be a really good week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorie, thanks so much for the details. This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill rehash of bistro standards (which I love, but enough...) and it sounds like a good read, too. My copy is ordered, too.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My copy arrived this morning. I haven't started cooking anything from it yet, so of course these are just some first impressions...

Wow, this book is big. I don't know what I was expecting (I didn't pay any attention to the dimensions on Amazon), but this is definitely not a lightweight. It stands easily two inches taller than Wolfert's The Cooking of Southwest France, and is about the same thickness. It is a very well-bound book. I cannot stand cookbooks that don't stay open to the page I am on when I am cooking, so one that does is always very welcome. It even manages to stay open to the correct page near the beginning and end of the book, which is no small feat. I know that seems like a stupid niggling detail, but I get very frustrated with cookbooks that change the pages for me!

Around my French Table.jpg

Of course the photography is beautiful (done by Alan Richardson), no surprise there. The book feels very much like CIA Pro-Chef in its layout and general stylistic cues. Overall the design is quite nice, if a bit unexpected given the "rustic" feel of the cover design. The actual design of the pages feels very modern to me, while the cover appears to be going for the same sort of aesthetic as Wolfert's book (I keep referencing back to Wolfert because she is my touchstone for French cooking, that's the book I've spent the most time with).

I was surprised at how short the introduction was: just four quick pages and you're into the recipes. Each recipe is led into by two or three paragraphs giving its background, etc. The instructions seem at first glance to be extremely clear, though that's hard to tell for sure just reading through a few recipes.

Overall, it's a gorgeous book, and there seem to be a LOT of promising recipes in here. I guess it's time to get cooking!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the recipes in weights?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the recipes in weights?

Doesn't look like it. You can look inside the book on Amazon.com.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No weights in the recipes for many publishing-related reasons -- most of them the same as the ones we discussed in the Baking From My Home to Yours thread.

As some of you know, I would love to be able to have all of my recipes appear in volume measures, American weights and metric measures, but it just isn't possible and wasn't possible with AMFT.

That said, I think that the weight issue is less crucial in cooking recipes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am baking the filling for the Mushroom & Shallot Quiche tonight for a party, but using my own pie dough (with a combination duck fat and butter dough). It smells wonderful in the oven right now!

I've been looking through the book and there are so many things I want to start cooking immediately. Eggplants and cherry tomatoes are in full swing right now in Texas, so going to hit the farmers' market tomorrow for the Eggplant Tartine.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I want this.

I've been throwing around the idea with my husband of getting cookbooks that would introduce me to certain types of cooking. Most of the time I've just looked up recipes online or winged it and, while I'm okay at it, I'd like to get away from that for a bit and follow some recipes.

Can anyone tell me if this would be a relatively good introduction to French cooking? I assume so, considering it comes from Dorie. :P

Don't worry, though. I'm picking up Mastering the Art one and two eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephanie, I think that's a tough question to answer. I mean, the recipe instructions are wonderfully detailed, there is no doubt that anyone who puts in the time to read through them will be able to make the dishes successfully. But as Dorie mentions above, this is a very "personal" book. It's not a big-picture overview of French Cuisine, or any sort of attempt to teach you the basics of the French kitchen. It's a recipe collection from an accomplished cook and cookbook author living in France.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dorie - the Mushroom & Shallot tart was really good! Said a friend at the party, "I think you need to bring me savory pies like this all the time."


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was first in line for the library's copy. since i don't own it i copy out my recipes - there are 18 that i want to "own". i think the most fun for me, though, were the stories about each of the recipes and the other essays - mashed potatoes, beets, cheese, boeuf a la ficelle, "complaining" in the nicest way about a cheese that wasn't quite ripe, etc. the writing was some of the best in general and definitely some of the best food writing i've read...and i've been a librarian for 30 years.

yesterday, during a food shop mainly for nonperishables, farina and golden raisins got added to my list so i can try the caramel-topped semolina cake sometime this week. sent the husband in with a side order of anne leblanc's pistachio avocado. unfortunately the local store didn't have avocado oil so i subbed some walnut oil. the pistachio oil is ordered, though.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just picked up a copy of this lovely book! Could not resist and with a 40% off coupon and $10 in Borders Cash I only spent $15, can't beat that!

There's a little note inserted with an error correction. In case you did not get that note, here it is:

"In the recipe for Speculoos on page 406, one large egg, at room temperature, was mistakenly omitted. Beat it into the butter-sugar mixture."

Nice touch that the publisher put that note into the book!!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want, want, want this book, but I'm living frugally right now, so I can't buy my own copy. I've been scouting out the library, hoping to be first to reserve it for when it comes in, but can you believe it. . .despite checking the online catalogue daily, when it finally came up, I ended up 12th in line!! That means I still won't get it till about two months after the library receives it! (which also won't be for a couple of months)

Despite that, I've purchased a red kuri squash in anticipation of making Beatrix's Red Kuri Soup. Hopefully it will keep for a few months. . . :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By weinoo
      Le Coucou is the new restaurant (opened for reals last week) collaboration between restaurateur Stephen Starr and Chef Daniel Rose of Spring, a fairly acclaimed restaurant located in Paris. That backstory need not be explained here; suffice to say that Significant Eater and I have had the pleasure of dining at both the tiny Spring 1 (once), and the more ambitious Spring 2 (a number of times), and it was always a fun and delicious time.
       
      Plenty of restaurants open in New York City; often they come with lots and lots of hype. Le Coucou is certainly one of them, as the PR bandwagon got rolling a while ago. And normally we like to give restaurants at least a little while to get their footing, but with this one we just couldn't wait, so off we were to Lafayette Street - on night two of service. I didn't even know if we'd get a table, since we were sans ressies, but we figured we could just grab a cocktail, even if we couldn't have dinner. But arriving early, we were offered a table by the charming Maître D' and lovely hostesses and hosts, though we did have a drink first, in their rather intimate lounge area.
       
      Now, I'd introduced myself and Sig Eater to Daniel at Spring years ago, as a friend of a friend. And again, when we were lucky enough to dine at the new Spring. But here, even before I was seated, Daniel (who had zero idea we were coming to have dinner) was by our side, greeting me by name and with hugs and cheek kisses - you know, that lovely French way. And even though he looked like he wanted nothing more than to pass out on the extremely comfortable banquette, he returned to our table any number of time during our meal, to make sure we were enjoying our dinner, to see if there was anything we'd like him to "whip up." Basically the consummate host.
       
      French has been seeing a serious revival in NYC over the past couple of years, and that makes us happy, as we love French cooking.  I mean, one need look no further than Rebelle, or Racines, or MIMI, or Chevalier, or...well, you get the picture. And here, with classic French technique executed fairly flawlessly, we were in heaven. One of our favorite dishes is a simple Poireaux, poached leeks served in a bracing vinaigrette. Here, chef adds a little something extra, topping the leeks with sweet, roasted hazelnuts. What about fried Delaware eel? Normally, my eel exposure is limited to sushi bars, where the earthy eel get a sweetish topping. At Le Coucou, the Anguilles frites au sarassin are as light as a feather, the eel's buckwheat batter playing well with curried vinaigrette and a subtle brunoise of citrus.
       
      Mimolette is a French cheese that as recently as a few years ago had its import halted by the food police, aka the FDA. It's back, and here it graces Asperges au vinaigre de bois. It's a simple lightly-roasted asparagus salad, made special by a smoked wood vinegar sourced somewhere in the wilds of Canada.

      Asparagus salad
      One of the dishes chef sent to our table was a knockout - a whole sea bream stuffed with lobster - and my guess is the menu is changing daily, because as I look while writing this, it's not on the online menu now. But here's a picture anyway.

      Lobster stuffed sea bream
       A classic of the French culinary canon is Quenelle de brochet. As Julia says in Mastering the Art I, "A quenelle, for those who are not familiar with this delicate triumph of French cooking, is pâte à choux with a purée of raw fish...formed into ovals or cylinders and poached in a seasoned liquid. Served hot in good sauce, quenelles make a distinguished first course. A good quenelle is light as a soufflé..."

      Quenelle de brochet, sauce américaine
      Yes it is. And indeed it was. Our main course, which we shared because we wanted to save room for cheeses, was Bourride, a Provencal fish stew that might be known in places like Nice as bouillabaisse. Here, the fabulous fish fumet is stocked with halibut, mussels, clams, and Santa Barbara spot prawns. Served alongside, toasted baguette slathered with aïoli. Suck the head of those prawns, dip the bread, and pretend you're somewhere other than Chinatown - it's easy enough, once inside, because this is a lovely space.
       
      Our 3-cheese selection (all American) was swoon-worthy to Significant Eater, and served alongside was an accompaniment of 3 different beverages, which I don't really know if everyone gets - or if Daniel was just being extra nice to us.
       
      Speaking of nice, the service staff is super. There was a horde of people working on both the floor and in the kitchen. The front of house people were professional, yet casual. There have a been a few notable restaurant openings this year, where service has been a bit "clumsy." Not here, where everyone is on the same page, and that enhances the experience greatly.
       
      What else can I write? Well, I am sad we didn't get to enjoy dessert - we just ate too damn much, but next time! And while we were unexpectedly treated like old friends, with 3 comped dishes from the kitchen and a couple of glasses of champagne when we sat down at our table, I looked around the restaurant any number of times, and everyone sure looked happy. The wine list is extensive - maybe that's part of the reason? There are tablecloths on the tables. There are comfortable chairs. Reservations are taken. All grown-up stuff. But most of all, once you taste this cooking, I think you're going to be happy as well.
       
      Le Coucou
       
    • By borgr
      I want to leave my sourdough (itself, not baked loaves of sourdough bread) for a while (going abroad) but I do not want it to die, can I leave it in the freezer? do you have other ideas?
    • By Lisa Shock
      The team over at Modernist Cuisine announced today that their next project will be an in-depth exploration of bread. I personally am very excited about this, I had been hoping their next project would be in the baking and pastry realm. Additionally, Francisco Migoya will be head chef and Peter Reinhart will assignments editor for this project which is expected to be a multi-volume affair.
    • By Chris Hennes
      While not a new cookbook by any means, I haven't really had time to dig into this one until now. We've previously discussed the recipes in Jerusalem: A Cookbook, but not much has been said about Plenty. So, here goes...
       
      Chickpea saute with Greek yogurt (p. 211)
       

       
      This was a great way to kick off my time with this book. The flavors were outstanding, particularly the use of the caraway seeds and lemon juice. I used freshly-cooked Rancho Gordo chickpeas, which of course helps! The recipe was not totally trivial, but considering the flavors developed, if you don't count the time to cook the chickpeas it came together very quickly. I highly recommend this dish.
    • By Bickery
      Hey Everyone! I'm kinda new to all this, so excuse any violation of mores.
      Searching google for anything on Mr. Steingarten on the web led me to
      this forum. It appears te me that most of you are food professionals or
      nearly that, while i'm just a 21-yr old student who likes to cook.

      I own both Jeffries books, and i've started putting together a list of
      all the books he sort of recommends in his writing. Thus came an idea
      for this forum, wouldn't it be fun to concoct a list of say 50
      cookbooks from the world over? I everybody, and hopefully mr
      Steingarten along with them, would contribute his or hers favourote
      books, this could be very interesting.

      Due to my limited library on the subject (most cookbooks i've read are
      mom's) i shall begin by contributing my current favourite.

      I shall put it in last place, because i'm sure a lot of you will have
      thing to say on the subject.

      so:

      50. La cucina essentiale - Stefano Cavallini


      I hope a lot of suggestions will follow!

      Yours Truly,

      Rik

      (Host's Note: Thanks to eG member marmish, who has compiled a list of everything mentioned as of the end of July 2009: it can be found here. -CH)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.